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Why Do Snowstorms Have Names Now?

Not all meteorologists accept the name game, or acknowledge this storm as Nemo.

You've probably heard occasional—but perhaps not frequent—references to this winter storm as "Nemo."

While it makes for some good jokes about that cute little orange fish, Nemo is not the brainchild of the Disney Corporation, but rather, a pre-determined name The Weather Channel gave to this latest storm.

If you missed it: The Weather Channel in November announced it would name "noteworthy winter storms" in the 2012-2013 winter season.

Sure, snowstorms have been informally named after the fact (remember Snowtober?) This is the first season, however, that The Weather Channel is naming them as it does hurricanes and tropical storms. The rationale? According to the Weather Channel, names raise awareness, make it easier to follow a weather system's progress, a storm with a name "takes a personality all of its own," and names make it easier to reference in social media.

The Weather Channel's naming decision hasn't been accepted by some of its meteorological counterparts, however. AccuWeather, for one, declared that "in unilaterally deciding to name winter storms, The Weather Channel has confused media spin with science and public safety." 

The National Weather Service also doesn't name winter storms.

Whatever you call it, this storm is expected to bring more than two feet of snow to North Andover.

Be sure to check out our regional live blog of the storm.

Also, Patch has a storm information center post for North Andover with updates.

To learn breaking North Andover as it happens, sign up for North Andover Patch newsletters.

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